Youth Leadership Forum





CHCMS LogoThe Chattanooga and Hamilton County Medical Society and Medical Foundation of Chattanooga host the Annual Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine.  The program encourages rising high school seniors and recent high school graduates to consider careers in medicine. During the course of the week, students enjoy daily roundtable discussions with physicians and observing (shadowing) a different physician each day.


The program is designed to:

  • Provide rising high school seniors and recent high school graduates the opportunity to learn more about life as a physician and inspire them to consider a career in medicine;
  • Educate students about options available to assist with the cost of medical education;
  • Provide students and local physicians with a community-based mentoring/teaching experience;
  • Assist with efforts to increase the pipeline of health care providers in Southeastern Tennessee.    

"This program is a great way to educate students on the realities of the field of medicine," according to the President of the Medical Society. "We aim to inspire these talented young people to pursue a career in the field." 


The 2018 Youth Leadership Forum will be conducted June 4-7, 2018.  Applications are closed at this time and those selected were notified May 4, 2018.


Click here to go to the Chattanooga & Hamilton County Medical Society webpage about the 2018 Youth Leadership Forum.


For more information, contact Kevin Lusk at 423-622-2872 or  


Medical Explorations Background Information




Kent Hutson, MD, Chair of Radiology and Director of Medical ExplorationsDr. Kent Hutson, former Chief of Radiology at Erlanger Health System and Past Chair of Radiology at University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, founded Medical Explorations -- a program developed to introduce high school seniors and college students to the world of healthcare in a medical setting.


"The purpose of the program is to generate interest and inspire students to go into healthcare," said Dr. Hutson. "The students will participate in tasks that are closer to what medical students do when they come to the hospital. It will give them a very unique behind-the-scenes look at a career in medicine."  The summer program, initially funded by the Erlanger Auxiliary, was established to give students hours in a medical setting shadowing specialties they are interested in seeing and some specialties they may have not already known.  "We encourage students to develop skills in communication and networking," added Dr. Hutson.


Mukta Panda, MD, FACP, Assistant Dean

For 2015, the Medical Explorations Program was under the direction of Mukta Panda, MD, FACP, Assistant Dean for Medical Student Education at the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga. Continuing Dr. Hutson's legacy, the program has been modeled on a successful program offered each summer at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.


"We will work closely with the UTCOM Chattanooga, and they will meet a variety of individuals such as medical students and residents, instructors and the dean of UTCOM Chattanooga. The students will also visit several hospital departments assigned to them each week, attend lectures on various topics and participate in discussions."  The application deadline for the 2017 Medical Explorations is June 2, 2017.  Dates for Medical Explorations will be July 10 through July 21, 2017.  Click here to go to the application information page.


For our program in Chattanooga, students must: --

  • be 18 years old or older by the start of the 2016 Medical Exploration Program
  • submit official documentation of a GPA of 3.5 or higher and grade level of a high school senior,
    2016 or 2017 high school graduate, or college student
  • two letters of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor

Chief Rad Tech, Ed Ray (background), at Erlanger Baroness Campus’ Surgery Department teaches, Medical Explorations student, Jeffrey Daniel (foreground), the proper technique of washing handsPart of the online application includes two essay questions about extracurricular activities and awards, as well as what you hope to learn from the experience.


Click on the link to the left to submit an online application for the Medical Explorations Program.


All participants are expected to maintain a professional manner and must undergo mandatory Erlanger HIPAA compliance and privacy training, as well as follow hospital regulations. 



Revised 3/23/207

UT College of Medicine Chattanooga     960 East Third Street, Suite 100     Chattanooga, TN 37403     (800)947-7823, ext 6956

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